Preventing water crises
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Preventing water crises

Turtles return to a beach that was once the dirtiest in India

For a long time, Mumbai’s Versova Beach was considered the most waste-ridden beach in India. In recent years, however, enthusiastic volunteers have decided to transform the situation. Their success is demonstrated by the fact that turtles have returned to the beach – for the first time in decades.

As the local population had used this coastline as an illegal waste dump for decades, a few years ago the area looked much more like a landfill than a beach. Afroz Shah, a young lawyer, finally had enough of the eyesore: in 2015 he teamed up with a few friends and began to clear up the waste on the beach.

As the weeks went by, increasing numbers of locals joined in the effort, although they were practically attempting the impossible. Thanks to their perseverance and the press coverage about their work, a few months later more than a thousand volunteers were clearing waste at Versova Beach (including employees of local companies, schoolchildren and even Bollywood film stars).

An inspiring video about clearing waste from Versova Beach Video: YouTube/Great Big Story

The end result is almost unbelievable: the enthusiastic citizens have removed almost ten thousand tonnes of waste from the beach, and they still keep on cleaning it to maintain its new condition. The UN has called the initiative “the world’s largest beach cleanup project” and it has awarded the Champion of the Earth prize to Afroz Shah.

The best evidence of their success is that in 2018, Olive Ridley turtles have returned to nest at the beach.

After twenty years, turtles return to Versova Beach Video: YouTube/The Quint (Photo on the opening page: www.mumbailive.com)
Further information: The Guardian

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Interview with Professor András Szöllősi-Nagy, Chair of the International Programme and Drafting Committee of the Budapest Water Summit 2019, Professor, National University of Public Service, Hungary.

What are the most important standpoints of developing a country's climate strategy?

Interview with Ms. Maggie White, Senior Manager of International Policy and Processes at Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) and Co-Chair of Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA).

Water Stress and Mass Migration – Is There a Way to Prevent Crisis?

Watch the video recording of the session.

What Is Needed for Doubling Investments?

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Technology to Avoid Water Crises – What Is Missing?

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Science Against Water Crises: Do We Know Enough?

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What are the main water issues concerning agriculture?

Interview with Professor Carlo Giupponi, Professor of Environmental Economics at the Department of Economics, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and Dean of Venice International University.

Water Crises – What Is the Economically Rational Behaviour?

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Value of Water vs. Costs of a Water Crisis

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Opening panel: Can Water Crises Be Prevented?

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